Gordon-Levitt, Willis are in sync in latest sci-fi film
“Looper,” with its shining cast and tense action, is one the best action and thought provoking films of the year.
The year is 2074 and time travel has been invented.
Quickly made illegal by the governments of the world, the underground crime circles quickly turns it into the tool of the trade for running their dystopian cities.
They take people who they no longer want around and zap them back 30 years to the past where a group of low-ranking henchmen called “loopers” are waiting for them.
With their futuristic shotguns called “blunderbusses,” these loopers blow their victims away, collect the silver bars and recede back into the poverty and drug-filled world of 2044.
Each of these loopers has to agree to a contract for the day where they must “close their loop” — the day when the future version of them is sent back and they must perform their final hit or they suffer a much worse future.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, one of the titular loopers living soul-deadened and numbed by drugs as he hoards his pay away, saving for the day when he closes his loop and can move to France for his last 30 years.
Young Joe comes face-to-face with his future-self played by Bruce Willis who’s on a suicide mission to change the future.
What comes after is one of the most exciting, intelligent and stylish science fiction films in recent memory.
Gordon-Levitt does an impeccable job mimicking so many of the mannerisms of Bruce Willis beneath a layer of facial prosthetic that it becomes utterly believable that the two are the same character.
The two actors manage to rise above any stereotypes to create a single character that remains consistent, but never the same.
Young Joe is filled with a level of resentment driving his survival while Old Young conveys a character lost and driven to extremes for a selfish hope.
Where the movie delivers on compelling and interesting characterization, it also delivers a plot filled with constant loops and twists that carries the viewer from a claustrophobic and desolate city to a small farm on the outskirts of nowhere.
The actions scenes are so compacted and dynamically constructed that the outcomes always feel uncertain, which leaves viewers constantly guessing how they will play out and who will survive.
Rian Johnson, director and screenwriter, delivers an intelligent and subtlety rich science fiction world with a tightly driven plot and a film bolstered not just by the leads, but also the supporting cast of Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels — who steals every scene he’s in.
The direction is absolutely stellar and creates a world that’s both new and familiar with a story that defies any formula.